Deaf Culture: D.C. Saturdays

Deaf Culture: D.C. Saturdays

The weekend before last, my partner and I traveled to Washington D.C. for a day full of Deaf community events and meeting up with close Deaf friends from my childhood.

image description: a blue square with an outlined white flower centered and the words yoga noma below.

When we arrived in D.C. we rushed down the street from Union Station to meet our friend at the entrance to the building where Yoga Noma is housed. We entered right behind him, and he showed us how to get to the actual studio. My partner doesn’t do yoga, so he said his hellos and adjourned across the street to a coffee shop to do some work. This friend and I brought out our mats, and settled in right before the teacher took her spot in front of the class to begin teaching a hatha yoga sequence.

Now that I think about it, I wish that every hearing yoga teacher had the opportunity to take a class fully in ASL from a Deaf yoga teacher. It’s a valuable practice, being open to understanding how very different the practice is for a bunch of Deaf people with a Deaf teacher. It also would help with some of the severe lack of diversity in our yoga studios. I don’t think that hearing people should be teaching Deaf classes though – and this is a tangent for another time.

Anyway, the class was perfect – since I don’t generally practice Hatha yoga – it was just the right amount of clear and understandable with a Deaf teacher speaking ASL and just the right amount of challenging for someone who comes from the Power Vinyasa school of teaching. I felt just challenged enough and just sore enough on Sunday that I didn’t work out again!

After yoga we went to lunch with our friend! It was really wonderful to just sit and converse about everything under the sun (as we always do), in ASL, and feel perfectly connected and understood.

Image description: two men sit at a wooden table and sign with each other – one has shoulder length blond-red hair and beard and the other one has very short blonde hair and a shadow of a beard.

I want to talk more about relationships and connecting another time, but this weekend was a refresher we both needed as we haven’t made very many local Deaf friends and especially not couple friends.

Our friend had to go study – and my partner had work to do – so we split up. We were planning to go see Avengers – Endgame with the D.C. Deaf Moviegoers Group that evening, so we were staying longer.

While my partner worked, I walked around D.C. I headed for Gallaudet University and the epicenter of the Deaf community. I saw families out walking, a whole crew of students sitting out and cheering on the baseball team, I walked by Union Market and many little corner shops. And when I had walked enough, I turned around and headed back to where my partner was working.

Finally, it was time to pack up and go see Avengers – Endgame. I’m not here to talk about the movie at all – only about the community that D.C. has built with the Deaf Moviegoers group. We were all waiting in line well before the movie was scheduled to begin, so we spent time talking, mostly about the MCU and other movies we had seen. But the nice thing about this group is that we already have two important things in common.

We filed in, and this theatre had assigned seating, which was sort of unfortunate for us because we got seats very LAST and had to sit almost underneath the screen!

image description: my partner sitting in a movie theatre, his chair reclined all the way back.

image description: our view of the movie screen, and on the screen is an ad or preview before the movie.

When the actual movie started, there still weren’t captions on the screen. All around me, hands started flying. This was supposed to be a Deaf social event, wasn’t it? My partner – being the assertive person he is – got up and immediately went to someone in management to complain. Thankfully, since the theatre had so many Deaf attendees, they shut off the screen and re-started the movie with captions on. The thing I noticed, though, being highly aware of my surroundings as I am, was that a whole row of people got up and left when the captions came on.

With the open captions up on the screen, the movie was so much more enjoyable for us. Because the captions were up there for everyone to see, there was no dropping signals or missed dialogue. It was 100% correct from what I could tell and it helped me enjoy the movie out with a bunch of my friends like everyone else in the world gets to do.

What was your favorite recent movie pick? Or if you haven’t seen anything recently, what is your favorite movie ever? I look forward to your answers in the comments!

Copycat Baked Egg Bites

image description: photo of egg muffins on a white cutting board. the muffin on the bottom right hand corner has a bite taken out of it.

I don’t know about you, but I have been gradually eating more diverse foods and being flexible about what’s around. I finally stopped being scared of fats a few years ago after working with a trainer and gradually adding fat back into my diet. That was such a helpful experience! I learned a lot of things and I learned that there isn’t really any morality to food – there’s no such thing as ‘good’ or ‘bad’ food. (If you’re interested in that, go check out Intuitive Eating by Evelyn Tribole and Elyse Resch).

After that, it was really nice that when we were traveling or if I was hungry at odd times and only had access to things like Starbucks or gas stations, I could still eat and not feel as anxious about it. When Starbucks rolled out those delicious egg bites a year or so ago, they were an instant fast favorite of mine. Enough fats and proteins to keep me going until another meal time, and delicious to boot!

However, my local Starbucks – the one that I passed everyday walking to the gym or the studio or back home – never EVER seemed to have them in stock. It was so frustrating! Those were the only thing I wanted on the menu, so I finally took matters into my own hands.

Copycat Starbucks Egg Bites

  • Servings: 6
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print


Ingredients
6 eggs
1/2 cup parmesan asiago cheese
1/2 cup mozarella cheese
3/4 cup cottage cheese
3/4 cup plain Greek yogurt
1 tsp salt
1/2 cup sun dried tomatoes
1/4 cup spinach (frozen or fresh cooked down and drained)
pepper to taste

Instructions
Add eggs, cheddar cheese, cottage cheese, yogurt, and salt to a bowl. Optional to blend these together for 30 seconds (I didn’t).
Mix in the sundried tomatoes and spinach.
Grease a silicone muffin tin with olive oil or coconut oil spray.
Fill each cup about 3/4 of the way full.
Cook at 375 degrees for 20 minutes with a casserole dish of water on the shelf below.
Remove the silicone muffin tins and let cool. The egg bites rose a little while cooking but settled as it cooled.
Remove eggs from the muffin tins when cool (I used a butter knife).
Store in an air tight container for up to 1 week in the refrigerator.
Microwave for 30 seconds when ready to eat.

These would be fun with other kinds of mix-ins! I just happen to always have spinach and sundried tomatoes on hand. Bacon would be lovely, but I think it probably needs to be at least par-baked first.

Enjoy! Let me know how these go for you!

❤ Always, J.

Re-Introduction

Image description: redhead wearing a turquoise tile printed dress and black cardigan is photographed from the waist up. She has her hand in her hair and looks down in the image, smiling. Dress by May Designs. Photography by Ashton Kelley Photography.

Hi friends! Well, I hope we’ll be friends or at least acquaintances.

Welcome to my little corner of the internet.

See, I started this blog a long time ago when I started feeling like I should start saying some of the stuff I was feeling about the state of the world and our country today – especially as a Deaf, chronically ill, and disabled person. But if I’m honest with you, I’ve always been really worried about what people think of me and I struggle a lot with feeling like I don’t belong anywhere.

So instead, over the last year, I have been writing more serious things and working with an editor to get my feels out in the world. We have battled that demon of imposter syndrome and we put him to rest (in a sense).

Also, over the last few months, I have been reminded that I can’t do this life thing on my own. My body continued to fail me in one sense or another, and it took finding a physical therapist out of network to begin to get help. And then, immediately after my last birthday, I began the search for a therapist or counselor again. That’s a story for another day, but I am getting help and support from both the medical community – in a partnership for once – and from my immediate very small support network.

So now that I am working on myself, I am hoping and hopeful that I will have the emotional bandwidth to begin to talk about life again. Both about life as a Deaf person with a Deaf partner. And life as a disabled and chronically ill person who has to constantly challenge the systems of ableism and audism that are set up all around us.

I promise I don’t just write about social justice though! Feel free to check in for lots of other fun content – from training my puppy, to organizing my home, to workouts and body acceptance, and finally to lots of yummy recipes.

Thank you for being here. I appreciate you and I am looking forward to this community.

❤ Always, J.

Smalltimore

There are lots of things I loathe about this city. And things I miss about life out west, but even I can’t deny that being away and coming back.

Each time Smalltimore seeps in just a little bit more.

The checkerboard neighborhoods: the Polish and Czech and Spanish and Greek and Italian and the black community that is being decimated by my race.

The hot summers, the humidity I thought I escaped by moving north, the rainstorms.

The winters that are so cold your nose hairs freeze when you step outside, and walking to the post is an adventure: will I fall on my ass or not?

I love the taunt of accessible transportation. It’s like the city knows it’s necessary but can never quite get it’s act together.

The bike advocacy groups in the city making me wistful for growing up in a place where bike access was matter of fact.

I love the hot nights on the stoop talking with the neighbors, mere feet away. From the old Eastern European grandmother to the young professionals next door – just like me but hearing.

It’s really a small town where we look out for each other and go at this life thing in a way that reminds me of times past.

My hundred plus years old house… creaky and drafty. But it still feels of people and eras gone by. 

The coal door is gone, but the dust and the crumbling brick remains in the cellar and may always.

Smalltimore, it feels more like home every time I come back to it.

Welcome!

Hi there!

Welcome to my lifestyle blog. I know, lifestyle is … well, it’s so many things. But here I will be writing about what it’s like to live as a Deaf, chronically ill, and disabled woman in a mostly hearing world.

My partner is also Deaf, so sometimes we luck out and we get to do things with other Deaf people – and that’s where we are most comfortable and most ourselves.

In addition, I am from Colorado. I lived there for almost thirty years, and the sunshine, mountain air, outdoors nature, and frankly, privilege is a huge part of my background. Now that I live in Baltimore, I am working hard to learn and unlearn all kinds of things about being a white person in a community that is much more diverse.

I am a yoga teacher, freelance writer, and home manager in my day to day.

Check here for topics to include: Accessibility, Deaf life, Community building, History, possible justice/law topics, body positivity/neutrality, fashion, pets, travel, and recipes!